Introduction: How to Make the Lancer Paper Airplane

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Fast, long range and small, the Lancer is a small "drone-fighter" paper airplane made with resemblance to the Lockheed CL-1200 "Lancer"lightweight fighter prototype of the late 1960s. This airplane was designed as an alternative to similar designs, such as the StratoMite and Serpent.

Design of the Lancer took only a short period of time despite the fact that it shares few parts with other planes I've created previously. The design was laid out to be similar to that of the Lockheed Lancer, as mentioned above. However, the tail design was changed to allow for greater simplicity in construction. In flight testing, the prototype proved itself an able performer and it was soon cleared for publication. The aircraft has a distinct anhedral angling to its wings, which gives it a considerably different look as compared to its contemporaries.

TAA USAF Designation: D339-1

Step 1: Materials

1 Piece of 8 by 10.5 inch graph paper






Step 2: Begin Construction

First, begin by folding your your graph paper in half (excluding three boxes on the perforated side). Once the paper has been folded appropriately, make two marks--11 full boxes apart. Use a ruler to make a straight line with the length of 11 boxes directly up 1 row of boxes from the two marks you just made. Then make the rudder and counterweight as shown. Follow the photograph markings. Then, mark out the wing spars and skids. From the back, measure 2 boxes forward and make a solid line 2 boxes long. Measure 1 box back from the beginning of this horizontal line and mark out a dotted vertical line. Once all is marked out, cut out the fuselage.

Take another sheet of paper that is folded in half along the lines of boxes. Mark out the wing as shown (1 box of constant chord at the root; a leading edge sweep of 1 box of chord decaying every 4 boxes outward from the constant chord box; and a trailing edge sweep of 1 box of decay along the 3 boxes of wingspan). This will complete the wings. To make the horizontal stabilizers, measure 2 boxes along the crease, measure two boxes upwards from one mark and make another point. Then draw a diagonal line connecting this new mark to the one further away. From the mark you just made, measure one box further away from the one now connected to the line and make a mark. Sketch a line between this mark and the other mark along the crease. Then cut the horizontal stabilizers out. Solid lines indicate places to cut. Dotted lines indicate fold lines.

Note: 1 box = 0.25 inches

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

Begin making your airframe's fuselage by cutting it out and folding the counterweight in. Next, cut one of the vertical stabilizers off and fold the landing gear and spars down. Once this is done, fold the vertical stabilizer forward along dotted vertical line and cut along the solid horizontal line as shown. Then unfold. Once this is complete, tape where designated.

Step 4: Applying the Wings and Horizontal Stabilizers; Stapling

Cut out and unfold your wing and flip your airframe inverted. Tape the wing to the fuselage by applying tape to the spars, with the overhang grabbing the wing. Cut off any excess tape. Flip the airframe over and then apply tape to the leading edge of the wing that sits atop the leading edge root extensions. The wings should be bend down enough so the skids can touch the ground while parallel to the fuselage. Cut out your horizontal stabilizers and thread them through the fuselage beneath the rudder. Fold them up once through and tape them to the fuselage. Apply one staple in the area of the counterweight. This application will complete your Lancer.

Step 5: Flight

The Lancer flies very similar to other drone-fighter paper airplanes, so origami aviators with previous experience on other types like the StratoGnat or SkyMite should have little difficulty transitioning to this aircraft. Launches should be done at neutral or positive attitude at moderate to high speeds. Additional applicable surfaces include slats, flaps, ailerons, spoilers, elevators, air brakes and a trimmable rudder. Enjoy!

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